I had the pleasure, this week, of reading a new book on mindfulness. Focused on participating in the present, right now, this book described how we can be more connected to our lives simply by paying attention. It sounds so simple: pay attention right now. And maybe it sounds like it’s not that big a deal.
What difference does it make if you are aware of your actions as you pour milk into your coffee each morning or if you focus on future goals all the while losing touch with what you are doing right now?
In his new book called The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life, Elisha Goldstein describes just how being in the present, right now, can enhance our lives.
Many people find themselves:
- Listening to someone with one ear, while doing something else at the same time
- Snacking without being aware that they are eating
- Driving, showering or completing other daily activities on “automatic pilot?
- Failing to pay attention to what they are doing right now because they are daydreaming, worrying or distracted
- Doing several things at once, rather than focusing on one thing at a time
- Thinking about what they’ll be doing later or what they’d rather be doing
If this is you, you may be spending a lot of time in the past or in the future, but not living your life in the present, right now. You might also find that you have intense emotions, disapprove of your own thoughts, are often in a bad mood without knowing why and have trouble expressing what you think or how you’re feeling to others.
Elisha Goldstein describes “The Now Effect” as that moment of clarity that at times can fall upon us like a moment of grace, but can be trained to help us alleviate stress, ease pain, cultivate emotional freedom, create a healthier brain, and some may even say to find enlightenment.
When you increase your awareness of the present moment, you notice changes in your body, find words to describe your emotional experiences, become aware of what is going on around you and that all important connection between what is happening in your environment and what is happening internally.
It is this attention to the present and increased awareness of right now that reduces the likelihood of anxiety and depression and increases feelings of pleasure and joy. Present focused attention can have an impact on how our brains process negative emotion and stress, allowing us to become less emotionally reactive and reducing the need to escape into destructive behaviors.
If you are interested in learning practical methods to live more fully in the present, The Now Effect can help you feel stronger, less stressed, more present, happier, kinder, and more effective.